So you have built your small business from the ground up, and it is relatively successful; sustainable at the least. Now it is time to turn that sustainability into success and that relative success into thriving prosperity. It is time to grow your business!
But how do you do that? How do you get your business to the level you want it at? Carefully, for one. Do not rush into a decision hoping you will reap great benefits from it. Too many times have businesses jumped into trends only to have it fail and cost them dearly. Plan it out first. Only you know where you want to go; create a multi-year strategy to get you there.
Here are some tips for growing your small business. Some can have immediate effects while others will take time and funding to implement. Consider your options closely.
Your Customers Need More
What else do they need? Is there a product that your customers have been requesting? If so, locate a vendor and include that item into your available selection of products. What about a service? If there is a service your guests could benefit from, consider implementing it. Businesses must be quick to react to such needs, and these two options are the quickest ways to grow your business incrementally. Unless it is a major product or a break-out service, this will not increase sales tremendously, but every little bit helps. Always be on the lookout for new opportunities. Your competition certainly is.
What is Your Competition Doing
Take a look at your competitors. Whether they are big names in the industry or smaller businesses such as yourself, they are all doing something right. Find out what that right is and figure a way to implement it in your own business model. If it is a floor plan, try and mimic its aspects. If they provide a particular service, see how you can do the same. Look at the good, but don’t try to copy your competitors outright. The last thing you want to do is lose your business identity. After all, you are trying to make a name for yourself.
Provide Great Service
In this day and age, with digital devices such as smartphones and Ipods distracting employees, productivity and interaction is down. Customer service is becoming a thing of the past, a dying art. Revive that artistic movement. Encourage your workforce to put down those devices and actually focus on the customers; they are the ones paying the bills and their paychecks after all. This will increase productivity as well, improving the services you already offer.
Hold your employees accountable for providing great customer service. At the same time, develop them into a team. Good managers know how to manage their people; great leaders know how to lead them.
By developing a rapport with each employee, you can present them with constructive criticism in a professional manner while letting them know what they are doing good for the business and your customers. Present them with goals to improve their opportunities and conduct follow-ups with them to keep them aware of their progress. By focusing on how each one of your workers functions from a service standpoint, you can improve that service, increasing sales at the same time.
Focus on Your Employees
There is something to be said about keeping your workforce happy. If your employees are content then they are more likely to work harder for you. Create the environment where they not only can work hard but grow as well.
Have some fun events planned that would add excitement to the workplace (without interfering with business, of course). Small gifts, contests, cookouts; these are all fun ways to show your appreciation of their hard work. These are all great ways to keep them happy.
Identify the wins in each employee and tailor their workloads around what makes them great. At the same time, identify their opportunities. Do this, not to keep them from performing those tasks they are not good at, but to help improve them in these areas.
With additional time and coaching, you can turn an underperforming employee into an indispensable one if you just focus on them.
To assist you with continuing your employees’ education in the business, consider using an LMS, Learning Management System. These are courses and programs that provide learning materials to employees for the purpose of growing them.
LMS software comes in a wide range of topics and covers many industries. Consider your budget and the field your business covers during your LMS vendor selection process.
Think Outside the Box
Yes, we have all heard this phrase; to the point it can be annoying. But it holds true. You have to think creatively if you are to not just survive, but prosper in your chosen industry. Innovation comes from needing and facing change head-on, and discovering something no one else had thought of. That is why small businesses are making a comeback in America. They have the ideas to be successful. Figure out how your idea can mesh with your business.
Consider joining up with other small businesses. Symbiotic relationships can exist in the business world. Manufacturers and parts suppliers may work together to create a new product. Delivery services teaming up with businesses has become a great working relationship for both companies, increasing profits for both.
Make sure you are taking full advantage of social media. Millions of people are online daily; marketers are using social media platforms to advertise their products and businesses to these millions. You should too. You probably will not reach that many potential customers, but you can narrow your marketing to a specific geographic region to start off with.
As customers begin to like your profile pages, word of your business will spread to friends, and your growth will continue. This is another option that you can implement quickly. You can even advertise spur-of-the-moment sales to attract customers from your social media sites, giving them an incentive to being loyal followers.
- The Enthusiastic Employee: 16 Myths on Employee and Performance Management
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- 10 Ways to Ramp Up Your Social Media Marketing
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- 6 Tips to Improve Employee Engagement in Small Business